Drake, Kendrick Lamar, 2 Chainz lead BET Award nominations

May 14, 2013|By Gerrick D. Kennedy
  • Drake scored a leading 12 nominations for the 2013 BET Awards, which are scheduled to be handed out June 30 at the Nokia Theatre in downtown Los Angeles.
Drake scored a leading 12 nominations for the 2013 BET Awards, which are… (Genaro Molina / Los Angeles…)

Drake leads the list of nominations for the upcoming 2013 BET Awards, which the network revealed Tuesday.

The Young Money rapper-singer scored a leading 12 nominations, including an impressive five in the video of the year category. His singles "HYFR" and "Started From the Bottom" will compete against his collaborations with 2 Chainz ("No Lie"), Kendrick Lamar ("Poetic Justice") and A$AP Rocky ("Problems").

Drake is also up for male hip-hop artist alongside 2 Chainz and Lamar, who are tied with eight nods.

Other multiple nominees include ASAP Rocky, who landed five nods, and Jay-Z, Justin Timberlake and Miguel, who all garnered four nods.

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The nominations were announced on the rooftop of a swanky downtown L.A. nightclub early Tuesday by Lamar -- the Compton rapper whose debut,  “good kid, m.A.A.d city,” was one of last year’s most critically lauded discs -- R&B songstress Tamar Braxton, who landed two nods; and Stephen Hill, the network’s president of music programming and specials.

Seemingly taking a cue from the Academy Awards, the night’s biggest award, video of the year, will feature 10 entries this year. The race features a formidable roster of smash hits including "Thrift Shop," “Adorn,” “Diamonds,” “Suit & Tie” and “Mercy.”

Charlie Wilson will receive a lifetime achievement award, and Chris Brown, who is up for male R&B artist, announced that he was one of the show’s first confirmed performers along with R. Kelly.

Though often predictable -- just turn on BET's "106 & Park" to get a sense of the eligibility pool -- the roster of nominations had a few surprises.

Nas, whose return to form “Life Is Good” was one of best rap releases in recent years, was shut out of the male rap category in favor of BET staples such as 2 Chainz, ASAP Rocky and Future. He landed a nomination in the Centric category, which is typically reserved for new soul/contemporary R&B acts. 

And despite a breakout year, Frank Ocean landed zero nominations, although the snub is likely because he’s not an artist issuing videos for network spins.

Early last year, the network announced plans to expand the popular awards show into a three-day destination festival, and revealed a deal with Anschutz Entertainment Group to bring the telecast to the glitzy, $2.5-billion L.A. Live complex.

Part of BET’s plans include a three-night concert series at Staples Center, which Beyoncé will launch. Lamar, along with his Top Dawg Entertainment cohort Schoolboy Q, Snoop Dogg, Miguel and J. Cole anchor Night 2, and Kelly, New Edition and the Jacksons close the series. The Roots and Erykah Badu will play late night sets at Club Nokia during the weekend, and the Conga Room will host afterparties. 

The festival will also include film premieres, free wellness seminars, comedy shows, tapings of the network’s hit “106 & Park” and a scaled-down version of the Taste of Soul.

Since its inception in 2001, the show has routinely been one of BET's highest rated programs.

The 2013 BET Awards are scheduled to be shown live June 30 from the Nokia Theatre, with Chris Tucker tapped to host the ceremony. 

Gerrick Kennedy


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